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The Man in the High Castle

PKD's finest work, The Man in the High Castle is scintillating literature in the tradition of Vonnegut and only barely resembles the category of science fiction. It is absolutely nothing like the Amazon produced series (just as Blade Runner barely mirrors Do Androids?), but each are intriguing in their own way. Honestly, I'm still puzzled as to what this book means, but perhaps that is its very point. . .I'll need to consult the I Ching.

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

An immensely enjoyable tale with a clever point of view. Like Star Trek? Ever wonder what it must feel like to be one of the disposable cast of extras, seemingly killed off each episode for ratings? Then you'll enjoy this fun read. Only critique I would give is that the author holds dogmatically to Stephen Kings "thou shalt only use 'said' for dialog tags", so the audio book version gets confusing at times, but if you can ignore that, you'll love it!

The Dark Forest

Carrying forward the incredible story from the Three Body Problem, this may be the most thoughtful Sci-Fi on this list and is shaping up to be the best trilogy I've read. The scenarios of the Wallfacers, the intrigue of the Wallbreakers, and the incredible plot twists throughout make this a must read. Couldn't recommend it more, though many folks have said it bogs down at the beginning.

Old Man's War

Scalzi is channeling Heinlein in this enjoyable space marines epic which is built around the twist of sending old, rather than young, folks to war. I'll have to check out the sequel some time.

Machines of Loving Grace

Often times, Artificial Intelligence breakthroughs are portrayed as being catastrophic to humanity. The author promotes a view where Intelligence Augmentation is more of a worthwhile goal and likely outcome. In other words, building intelligences that can help us, rather than overtake us. Honestly, the book was boring with the author meandering constantly with theme-less chapters. Wouldn't recommend it even though I like the topic.

Zack

A Review of 2015

In years past I've been reticent to record a retrospective like this, as it reminds me of all the things I didn't accomplish. One of the quirks of being Zack, I guess.

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The Windup Girl

Absolutely loved the book. . .except for two incredibly graphic rape scenes which violated the titular character. Not entirely sure why. . .

Zack

Total Compensation

Recently there was an article making the rounds describing the massive "total compensation" benefit of working for a large company over a startup.

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The Writer's Journey

An extensive elaboration on the Cambellian Heroes Journey as it relates to writing a story and being a writer. I enjoyed it, but it could have been heavily edited.

How Fiction Works

An academic's view of how fiction works, which, in a former life I was rather academic so I don't mind the name-dropping aspect of the book. Like Nabokov? You'll wish you did by the end of the book.

Snow Crash

This well loved book didn't quite resonate with me. I'm not sure why, but the parody/hyperbole was just a bit too foreign for me to grasp.

Zack

The Power of Incremental Work

Quite a while ago, I wrote a review of The New Turing Omnibus. A very clever book whose double entendre title reinforced the wit with which the subject matter was to be handled. In short, a very fun book that covers a lot of Computer Science topics.

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Neuromancer

I remember really enjoying this one as a kid, but it wasn't quite the same on the re-read. I appreciate the fever-dream quality which Gibson brought to the work. He truly is a master and this bears that fingerprint.

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone

I read the first chapter several times, admiring the mastery of the economy of each word properly chosen to introduce the story most effectively. It really is remarkably well-written fiction and very enjoyable.

Superintelligence

The most thorough work on Artificial Intelligence which I have ever read. It concerns itself primarily with the pathways and risks associated with developing a true super-intelligence and makes a rather compelling case for it plausibly occurring in our lifetimes.